Dynamic Solomon Islands’ cultural industries get management boost

Secretariat of the Pacific Community:

Friday, 19 December 2014

Management training to support the growth of the Solomon Islands’ cultural sector - long recognised as a dynamic part of the country’s economic and social landscape - has targeted artists, artisans, fashion designers, dancers and writers.

Gaining international recognition during the Festival of Pacific Arts hosted in the country in 2012, the cultural sector provides livelihoods and income to thousands of Solomon Islanders each year.

The management workshops were organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in collaboration with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Culture Division in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Solomon Islands Arts Alliance under a programme funded by the European Union.

They aimed to strengthen the existing cultural industries associations and non-profit organisations in the Solomon Islands and support the formalisation of emerging collectives.

Presentations covered the importance of transparency, accountability and collaboration, as well as training on how to develop an effective constitution, improve management and develop financial management skills.

The participants discussed the importance of collaboration and learned about tools for creating effective constitutions, the legal steps for registration of charitable trusts and associations.

The training took place in Honiara at the Mendana Solomon Kitano Hotel from 2-5 December and at the Provincial Gizo Women’s Centre from 5-9 December.

'The culture sector provides good potential for inclusive economic development in the Solomon Islands and the region. Small businesses and civil society should really take advantage of the opportunities available and this workshop could be a step in the right direction,' Head of Development Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, Pavlos Evangelidis, said in his closing remarks at the Honiara workshop.

Long known for its traditional carving and basket weaving, Solomon Islands producers are now cultivating blossoming fashion and visual arts sectors.

Similarly traditional pan pipe and dance groups are growing side-by-side with contemporary music and performing arts.

To support the growth of both individual enterprises and the whole sector, a number of cultural industries associations have formed in Honiara. These associations provide training, market facilitation and collective lobbying for their members and have been a crucial source of support for producers impacted by political and economic fluctuations and natural disasters.

Many cultural producers were impacted by the severe floods earlier this year which swept through Honiara and parts of Guadalcanal Province.

The workshops follow from the national development workshop for the cultural industries in Solomon Islands, held in September, which focused on defining the priorities for the development of the sector.

This latest training was part of a project called ‘Enhancing the Pacific Cultural Industries: Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands’ implemented by SPC, PIFS and partners with the financial support of the European Union and the assistance of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.

Read story: Secretariat of the Pacific Community

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